tonight, on "nightline," first, they got bin laden. now, they pull off a daring midnight rescue of an american woman. tonight, how the navy s.e.a.l. team 6 had another mission impossible. he is making drastic changes. he'll show us how he lost 100 pounds, while surrounded by sweet temptation. and the new drew. she grew up before our eyes. that little girl that went from "e.t.," to rehab, to a white-hot
directing career. drew barrymore gets real about her wild child past and now. with a new movie and a new man. >> announcer: from the global resources of abc news, with terry moran, cynthia mcfadden, and bill weir in new york city, this is "nightline." january 25th, 2012. good evening, all. i'm bill weir. we begin with new details in the emerging story about how a team of navy s.e.a.l.s rescued a young man and a another man from outlaws in somalia. the mission involved jumping out of an airplane in the middle of the night, hiking for miles, lethal combat, and a helicopter evacuation. in other words, just another day at the office for s.e.a.l. team 6. here's abc's martha raddatz. >> reporter: the mission, to rescue this young woman. a 32-year-old american aid worker being held by somali
pirates. jessica buchanan had spent 92 days in captivity. along with a 60-year-old danish aid worker, poul fistles. president obama gave approval for a daring rescue for the same team that killed bin laden, s.e.a.l. team 6. vice president biden told abc news, that the president had seen intelligence reports, indicating buchanan's health was deteriorating. and her life, possibly in danger, due to an undisclosed condition. >> jessica's health was, in a word, was failing. and they concluded they should go at this time. >> reporter: details of the operation are still secret. but we know something how s.e.a.l. teams save lives. >> in a hostage rescue mission, it's only a successful operation if they can make sure they're
able to use violence against their enemies while making sure that a hostage, like jessica, is able to be pulled off the target completely safe. >> reporter: by 1:40 a.m. somali time, 5:40 p.m. in washington, as the president prepared for the state of the union, the s.e.a.l. team was aboard a specially equipped c-130, moving rapidly towards the target. a remote encampment deep in somalia. we know from this training video, s.e.a.l. teams train for such missions. the rescue team parachuted to the ground, quietly landing a few miles from the site. >> they know they're going into the highest-stakes, most dangerous operation, that any force has been thrown into. >> reporter: within minutes of arriving at the encampment, gunfire erupted from the kidnappers. but the s.e.a.l.s quickly killed all nine of the heavily armed men. >> you want to hit your enemy when they're not expecting it. you want to hit them fast. and you want to hit them hard.
>> reporter: they were both outside, about 30 or 40 yards apart. approximately 45 minutes after the s.e.a.l.s parachuted in, u.s. blackhawk helicopters swooped down, picked up the s.e.a.l.s and hostages and headed for djibouti. the first hint that something extraordinary had taken place took at 9:08 p.m., back on capitol hill in washington. as we walked into the house chamber for his state of the union address, the president was seen congratulating secretary of defense leon panetta. >> leon, good job tonight. good job tonight. >> reporter: the president said nothing of the rescue during the speech. and it was not until afterwards, with buchanan finally in safe hands, that he was able to call buchanan's father, to tell him that his daughter was free. jessica buchanan's husband, a swedish aid worker, and her
younger brother, also received the good news. >> just answered all the prayers. you know, it just makes you proud to be an american. i can never tell them how thankful i am for what they do and what they did. >> reporter: buchanan and her colleague were captured october 25th, while visiting sites for their program, educating somali children, about the dangers of weapons in this war-torn country. buchanan, who was born and raised in ohio, had worked in africa for years. >> she was always looking ahead. looking forward. what can i do? how can i grow? how can i help people? >> i don't know if you would say that africa grew around her heart. or her heart grew around africa. but she could hardly talk about africa without tears in her eyes. >> reporter: so far, few details of buchanan's captivity have been revealed. and more than 150 foreign hostages are still being held by various groups in somalia. in november of 2010, paul and rachel chandler were released after 13 months of captives of
somali pirates, who had seized them from aboard their yacht. they spoke about the brutality they faced at the hands of their captors, in an interview soon after their release. >> i could see he was slamming the butt of a rifle into her head. and i was dragged off around the corner. >> the anger that i felt they were so cruel, so callous, so -- just so despicable, you have to find a way of dealing with that. >> reporter: tonight, preparations are being made for buchanan to be reunited with her loved ones, following medical evaluations. but she is said to be doing well, considering all she has been through. for "nightline," i'm martha raddatz, in washington. >> thanks to martha for that. just ahead, the chef who managed to lose 100 pounds to save his own life, even as he baked up desserts to die for.
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>> announcer: "nightline" continues from new york city, with bill weir. celebrity chef paula deen made the announcement that he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, because in deen and kitchen, the more butter the better. and that slogan has been true for a pastry chef. and we met one that has a health crisis even more extreme than deens, and his own irresistible sweets to are blame. >> reporter: in many ways, michael's job was killing him. >> i think i allowed the
stresses of work to keep me alive. >> reporter: he went from an athlete with a 34-inch waist, to a diabetic. >> my sugar was through the roof. >> reporter: michael has another unusual risk factor. this is what he does for a living. that is so decadent. good golly. his signature sweet is a secret recipe for a vessel of thin, an oooey-gooey candy bar. even oprah's a fan. >> i love making people happy through what i create. my concern was not what am i going to prepare or what is going to be thrown at me in the competition. is if my jacket's going to fit me.
it's kind of ridiculous. >> reporter: that's when the food network asked if he'd be interested in a different kind of show. the show debuts tomorrow night, following michael and other chefs, as they try to lose weight, while still surrounded by temptation. let's say you're addicted to food. could an alcoholic work in a bar? >> you know what? yes. i say it's all self-control, with doing the show "fat chef," i learned to rethink the way i look at food. >> mm-mmm. >> reporter: of course, the maker of "fat chef," the food network, also made a star out of the butter queen, paula deen, who recently announced she has type 2 diabetes. >> and it was really something that i had to digest. >> reporter: at the same time, she partnered with the drug company. >> i am being compensated. my children are being compensated because we, like everybody else, have to work.
>> reporter: michael says he cured his diabetes, not with medication. but by dropping 100 pounds in 4 months. >> i'm diabetes-free. i cured diabetes. got my glucose down to 70. >> reporter: like paula deen, michael makes no excuses for selling treats with sugar and starch. you're saying i have to cut back. >> it's just the industry. i think it's the way us americans perceive food. i think it has to do a lot with portions. so, i think we're done. so, we'll take that off. >> reporter: he's maintaining the diet and exercise program the show tailored for him. >> this has fantastic amount of protein. the first thing i started to do was eat more. it's amazing. >> reporter: what? >> eat every four hours. but it's what i ate. so, i filled myself with fiber and very lean proteins. you can have 5,000 calories of
nothing. just bottomless calories that will actually just make your blood levels crash. >> reporter: when it came to exercise, the one-time track star had to take it slow. >> my mind wanted to work and wanted to run. but the legs weren't moving. we did half a lap. and went to three-quarters of a lap. then, one lap. a lap and a half. and in december, at the gym, i did a 5k. >> reporter: wow. that's great. congratulations. >> reporter: diet guru, mike dow, works with food addicts. he says plenty of his patients are chefs. >> i think "fat chef" is a brilliant concept. we have to help the chefs to get healthier, if they're going to offer healthier options for the people they're cooking for. >> reporter: he says working around food can be torturous for people trying to lose weight. >> working around food is
addictive. you're actually teaching yourself to be prewarded sometimes with food. and that affects the brain in powerful ways. >> reporter: can you be a good chef without tasting your wares? >> there's a fine line between tasting and eating. okay? so, i can taste the brownie. and that's it. but then, you know, for my old self -- >> reporter: that's hard. >> i would taste the brownie. and taste another piece. and next thing you know, the whole thing is gone. >> reporter: how has your family, your wife, your kids, changed? >> amazing. my sons get to enjoy their father more. i'm not a dad that sits on the couch and watch tv. i get up. we play soccer and run around. you know? to see their faces like that, it makes me think, what i've been denying them through me being selfish about myself and my eating. where am i going? here? >> reporter: even though he finished taping the show, michael's gone on to lose 15 more pounds. so, what's the dream goal? >> the dream goal is for me -- i see you in a speedo. >> i'm not a speedo guy.
i'd like to be back, you know, 250. >> reporter: you want to be half the man you started as. >> half the man. literally, half the man. and i have a good road ahead of me. but i have everything i need to succeed. >> reporter: for now, michael seems to be creating a new recipe, for a healthier life. >> it makes me a happier chef. as a result, you have happier food. >> reporter: for "nightline," i'm juju chang, in port washington, new york. >> juju tells me he's gone from a 6 xl, to a 2 xl. plain old large, maybe just over the horizon. coming up next, we fell in love with her in "e.t." and 30 years later, drew barrymore tells us about the and 30 years later, drew barrymore tells us about the loves of her new life. .. what's it like driving the fusion hybrid? you can read every system that is operating by pushing a button. it's like driving a computer. what would be the hardest thing for you to give up? the miles per gallon, the fuel. when you're used to filling your car up once a week,
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she's like ice cream or blue skies. but life has been famously rocky for that kid from "e.t." a few demons to battle. a few love life missteps. but if you root for her, along with the masses, you might like what she has to say with abc's chris connelly, in this, the "nightline" interview. >> reporter: a star since the '80s. in films like "firestarter," and "e.t." drew barrymore is hollywood royalty. from "the wedding singer." >> i'm so in love with you. >> reporter: to "never been kissed." >> i remember everything you say. >> reporter: a rom-com icon, with an audience that cheers her every move, on the screen and off. a lot of people care about you. they root for your happiness. >> i root for theirs. >> reporter: what would you like them to know about your fiance? >> he is a really good person. and i'm proud of my choice with him. >> reporter: drew barrymore. her recent engagement to art
consultant, will kopelman, son of a former chanel ceo, is one of the choices she's excited about. the one-time wild child, turned domestic goddess? >> i'm starting to cook. it's scary. >> reporter: what do you make? >> i'm on soups. >> reporter: what changed? >> maybe it's age. maybe i'm going through a mid life crisis now. i like the more, you know, just quiet and calm you can feel inside. >> and that's kicking your ass. >> reporter: when she produced and starred in "charlie's angels," the town was hers. it seems as though your career took a kind of a pivot point a few years ago. >> i wanted to do something that even i didn't think i could do. >> reporter: so, this leading lady risked her bankability, by playing eddie beale, for "green
gardens." and the romp, "whip it." her latest, is the real-life saga of whales trapped in ice. barrymore stars as the greenpeace activist. >> it made me emotional. it gave me hope, that it's something where people put their agendas aside to do something together. i would love to see that in the world. >> wait. what's happening? >> reporter: the alaska locations and cold were real. the whales were not. although, they weren't after-the-fact special effects, but animatronic puppets. >> it sounds like an insane person saying this. but i was so appreciative to work, again, much like "e.t.," with something that is in the
room. >> good-bye. >> reporter: "big miracle" is based on the story that appeared in "spy," in 1989. an issue that also featured a barely adolescent barrymore. how old are you in that picture? >> i think i'm 14. i don't think i was studying about the whales. i was clearly out and about or out on the town. >> reporter: was she ever. back then, she did it all. drink, drugs, rehab, younger than anyone. >> i was lost and scared. but what i did learn is, humility and that things can go away. >> reporter: these days, the up-and-down thrills of her rollercoaster past seem to have given way, to quieter satisfactions. in life and love. >> when you're young, you're always wondering when you're actually going to feel like a grown-up. and all of a sudden, one day, you kind of feel like an adult. and it's really nice. that's how i feel. >> reporter: for "nightline," i'm chris connelly in